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Telepresence Sales: The Picture Gets Fuzzy

May 17, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
tv_static.jpgMay 17, 2012 by -- What's troubling the telepresence market? The VAR Guy has been asking that question in recent weeks. First, Polycom (NASDSAQ: PLCM) warned of weak quarterly earnings in April. Then, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) CEO John Chambers last week essentially said the networking giant's TelePresence sales aren't meeting expectations. So what's the problem: The economy and overall IT spending? Or is there a deeper challenge facing telepresence sales going forward? The VAR Guy weighs in.

First, let's paint the picture. Cisco's latest quarterly results met expectations but certain areas of Cisco's business aren't firing on all cylinders. A prime example: Telepresence. During an earnings call last week, Chambers said:

"Our Q3 performance in collaboration being flat is not where we expect it to be. And as you would expect, we are putting an aggressive action plan in place with specific focus on our sales execution. Part of this challenge is market-driven and part of it is our need to execute more effectively.

More specifically on collaboration. Increased sales of IP phones within our Unified Communication products were offset by sales decline in other products in the portfolio. Our TelePresence business, for example, has historically had tremendous success in the public sector and enterprise markets. As we saw continuous pressure in public sector and enterprise spending, we also saw the impact on our TelePresence results."

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